Published by Siena Taylor
Mocean is a multi-award winning employee engagement and internal comms agency based in Bristol & London
1 in 4 adults in the UK feel lonely some or all of the time.
It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and this years focus is loneliness. We could think of no better way to raise awareness than by talking with our friends at Marmalade Trust, the UK’s leading loneliness charity who are pioneering and raising awareness about loneliness and who help people make new friendships. We spoke with health care professional Amy Perrin who started the charity.
How did Marmalade Trust begin?
I started Marmalade Trust back in 2013. Whilst volunteering in Bristol, I realised that some of the older members in my tea party group did not have anywhere to go for Christmas Day, so decided to take a few of them out. It had such an important impact on helping isolated people connect and it has grown from there!
What is Marmalade Trust’s mission?
Our mission is to create a society where we recognise that loneliness exists and support each other to find new friendships. We do this by running direct projects in the Bristol area supporting people experiencing chronic loneliness and by raising awareness nationally.
Why do you think it’s important that we talk about loneliness?
It’s so important that we talk about loneliness! Loneliness is a natural human emotion, something we are all likely to experience at various points in our life and yet there remains so much stigma surrounding it. It’s important that we talk about it so we can recognise it in ourselves and others and avoid it from being a chronic issue - which will then have an impact on health.
What are some of the misconceptions about loneliness?
People often think that loneliness is a mental health issue - it isn’t. Try and consider loneliness as a warning sign, like hunger is a warning sign that we need to eat, loneliness is a warning sign that we need to address our human connections. It is often thought that loneliness just affects people of an older age, whereas actually the 18-24 year olds report higher levels of loneliness.
What is Loneliness Awareness Week and how can people get involved?
Loneliness Awareness Week is a national campaign we run to raise awareness. It takes place between 13th-17th June 2022. You can get involved by sharing our assets, being part of the campaign and sharing and talking to people about loneliness. Together we can reduce the stigma.
You can find out more details about Loneliness Awareness Week and Marmalade Trust by visiting their website or follow them on socials marmalade_trust.
Like most charities, the impact they make and the people they support can be greatly improved by a small increase in donations. If you feel that you can spare a small amount (or large amount) as part of mental health awareness week then please do so HERE